“With the start of construction of the fourth wind project in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, we are continuing to contribute to the socio-economic development of the area through our zero-emission energy and initiatives to create shared value. These initiatives include the innovative model implemented at the Oyster Bay construction site, as well as the sustainability activities focused on scientific and technical education in the area around the project. Looking ahead, we will continue to harness South Africa’s abundance of renewable resources, creating a virtuous circle of sustainable energy generation, education and development”
Once fully up and running, due in the second quarter of 2021, the 41-turbine Oyster Bay is expected to generate around 568 GWh per year, avoiding the annual emission of around 590,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. The wind farm will be supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, as part of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender, which awarded in April 2015 a total of five wind projects for 700 MW to the Enel Group in its fourth round.
EGP will use innovative tools and methods to build this wind park, such as advanced digital platforms and software solutions to monitor and remotely support site activities and plant commissioning, digital tools to perform quality controls on site and smart tracking of wind turbine components as well as an active safety system. These processes and tools will enable swifter, more accurate and reliable data collection, improving the quality of construction and facilitating communication between on-site and off-site teams.
In addition, the company has committed to ensure job creation in the community surrounding Oyster Bay, while also prioritising education, a key driver of socio-economic development, by supplying schools with clean energy through mini-PV systems, awarding scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects to local students and supporting school feeding programmes in the Kouga municipality. EGP promotes STEM in the community, also by supporting the employment of three fulltime teachers.